Well, here we are. The eighth generation of consoles is officially upon us. I've just played the ever-loving fuck out of Killzone: Shadow Fall and Knack, and already have plans to pick up Injustice's ultimate edition next week along with the sweet accidental damage insurance Sony's selling. We see a generation in front of us, full of opportunities for great games, amazing moments and overall excitement. We're also going to see lots of disappointment, rage and the standard idiocy from all sides: publishers, media and fans.
Put short, it's another generation of games.
We're already seeing the beginning, really: people selling up the coming of cloud computing, the end of physical media, artistic gaming, garage developers actually meaning something in the broader marketplace, and this potentially being the last console generation. Talking heads from all over are talking, and the likelihood of any of this being anything more than marketing bullshit is hilariously low. Especially that last one. Let's be honest, we're all going to be here again, talking about the PS5, Xbox Two and Nintendo's next attempt to catch lightning in a bottle, come 2019-2020, and the cycle will begin again. This will almost certainly be preceded by another failed Sony attempt to bite into Nintendo's handheld dominance around 2016-2017. We'll also be enduring another few years of fanboys trying to convince us that tablet and mobile gaming really is more than failed ports and pay-to-win drivel or how PC isn't a totally different market and are totally going to destroy the console model.
We've yet to see the first true stinker of the eighth generation, but we already have a divisive title. We already have people grumbling about features and games that didn't make launch. In a week, we'll be seeing the alpha nerds of the fanboy tribes scanning every pixel of every multi-platform title for any "evidence" of one system's inferiority to the other, and we're seeing Nintendo fanboys try to talk down the next generation, as though only their chosen faceless corporation is capable of compelling gameplay experiences. As the current generation reaches more and more people, we'll get called all sorts of horrible names and be thankful that both PS4 and Xbone share party chat capability so we don't have to sit there muting everyone individually. There will be people saying the most vile, disgusting shit toward each-other, with gamers often being as racist, misogynistic and homophobic as possible, and the media will try to paint these fuckwads as the whole of the fandom. A few gaming-related laws will be passed by state governors, a few studies will be issued by the federal government, and we'll probably see an amulance chaser or two launch a crusade against the sick filth that is GTAVI.
We're also going to see games that leave our mouths open, make us jump and cry out to the heavens in joy and reignite our oft-battered faith in this wonderful pastime of ours. We're going to fall in love with new characters, worlds and music. We're going to save the world a few times, maybe have a laugh or two at some caricatured larger than life figure, or skip a heartbeat or two, maybe even shed a tear as a character we'd grown fond of bites the dust in a horrible way. We'll watch walkthroughs and commentaries, both serious and funny, that bring a smile to our faces. We'll find the one or two machinema darlings, bang our heads and laugh at some hilarious meme that a game starts up, and talk about awesome moments with our friends, be it around the water cooler or over our headset. Some crazy e-sports showing will rock our worlds and leave us hype as all fuck. We'll be pleasantly surprised by a sleeper hit every once in a while, a game or two will spark some interesting debate, and @zombiepie is going to have a shit-ton of awesome blogs to look through for the Community Spotlight.
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, bears crap in the woods, the Pope wears a stupid hat, and the eighth generation will largely come and go like all the others. Some of it is bad, some of it is good, but so long as console gaming is a competitive market, it's going to be one hell of a fucking ride.
Maybe the seventh generation lasted too long. Maybe it ended too soon. It really depends on who you ask. But no matter what you feel about that, we can all agree that it was one crazy ass ride. I expect no less from the eighth, and I'm glad to have got on right at the start.